Hidden – Bone Secrets #1 by Kendra Elliot

REVIEW

I first read this book in 2014 and since then have read the entire Bones Secret series, Callahan and McLane Series, and have recently listened to the Mercy Kilpatrick Series via audible. I have now decided to start back at the beginning and listen to them all from the start.  Although these are three different series, characters from all three appear in each.

In Hidden we meet Lacey Campbell, a forensic odontologist, who is called to a scene where a body has been found in the walls of an apartment building. Memories surface and dread fills Lacey when evidence is found that leads back to an old friend who was murdered.  Jack Harper, former police officer and current owner of the building, finds himself embroiled in the investigation as links are made to an old case. When Lacey becomes the target of the current killer, who appears to be connected to the former case, Jack steps in as protector and soon the chemistry between them cannot be tamed.

Lacey is a strong female lead and has the right amount of sass to bring Jack to his knees. Jack is happy with his life as a renowned playboy but something about Lacey makes him want to be a one-woman man.  When Lacey’s life is in danger, Jack knows he will do anything to protect her.

We also meet Detectives Mason Callahan and Ray Lusco, reporter Michael Brody, Dr. Victoria Peres, and Jack’s friend, Alex Kinton . Look out for these characters in future books in all the series’.

This romance suspense is filled with action, intrigue and of course romance.

Read on kindle, Listened to via Audible. Narrated by Kate Rudd

Rating 4/5

Synopsis 

Eleven years ago, the Co-Ed Slayer murdered nine female college students on the Oregon State University campus. Lacey Campbell barely survived his attack, but he killed her best friend, Suzanne, whose body was never found.

Now a forensic odontologist analyzing teeth and bones for the state medical examiner, Lacey is devastated when she identifies Suzanne’s remains at a crime scene. She finds comfort in the arms of ex-cop Jack Harper, and sparks fly between them even as a new reign of terror begins. Someone is killing the witnesses who sent the Co-ed Slayer to prison a decade ago. All the evidence points to the Co-ed Slayer as the culprit, only he’s long since dead. So who’s the new killer? And is Lacey next in line to die?

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15096138-hidden)

Matt: The Callahan Brothers – Callahan Brothers #2 by Emily March

REVIEW

Exciting and entertaining.  This is the second book in the Callahan Brothers series and is based around the eldest son, Matt.

Matt finds himself mixed up with delectable Torie Bradshaw believing her to be her twin sister Helen.  Working for the CIA is never easy, throw into the mix guns, traffickers, and a sexy woman with a James Bond fetish, and it is downright impossible.

Torie Bradshaw is the black sheep of her family.  The bad girl, the “evil twin”. But when a stalker makes her a target she heads to the only person who can keep her safe. Unfortunately she is not his favourite person.

The connection between Torie and Matt is explosive, literally, but the longer they spend together the more they realise that attraction and love knows no bounds.  Torie is a carefree, witty woman who shows a tough outer shell but inside all she really wants is to be accepted and loved for who she is.  I loved the continual James Bond references. Having grown up watching the films I could relate to each and every one.  Which girl doesn’t dream of being the bond girl who finally tames him?!  The ending is brilliant.  He couldn’t have done it better!

More secrets about the family Callahan are revealed in this book and they explain a lot of the bitterness held by Mark towards his father.  Branch is real piece of work.  How he could ever think his boys would have any respect for him, especially after the stunt he pulls, is beyond me.

Listened to via Audible. Narrated by Jeffrey Kafer

Rating 4/5

Synopsis

Strong, independent Torie Bradshaw doesn’t like playing the damsel in distress, but when a stalker’s sadistic threats finally frighten her into running, she knows of only one hero to call on for help: Matt Callahan. The sinfully sexy spy had saved her once before. Surely he’ll play her champion again. If only they hadn’t parted under such…unfortunate circumstances. 

Matt has barely recovered from the last time he tangled with Torie. When she invades his private sanctuary bringing danger, drama, and a designer dog with her, he wants nothing more than to send the beauty packing. He’s busy battling old ghosts and more recent wounds. But Matt can’t deny his protective instincts or the fact that this troublesome woman has gotten under his skin. So when a killer comes to call, Matt faces a startling reality—he’s about to  lose all the things he never thought he wanted.

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22922286-matt)

 

 

A Merciful Silence – Mercy Kilpatrick #4 by Kendra Elliot

REVIEW

Mercy Kilpatrick is back on the hunt, this time for a serial killer who is murdering whole families.

When the skeletal remains of a family are found, Mercy finds links to previous murders from years ago, but the man arrested at the time is still in prison.  Have they got a copycat killer or could the original murderer still be free.

Mercy’s heart is put to the test as well as her head when Truman, her boyfriend and Police Chief of Eagle’s Nest, goes missing.  Her feelings for Truman have never been so strong and the realisation that she really, truly loves him forces her to never give up.

Another fantastic story by Kendra Elliot.  I am absolutely loving this series. It is wonderful to have more cameo appearances from characters of previous books.  I think I might have to reread the ‘Bone Secrets’ and ‘Callahan and McLane’ series again.

Full of action, adventure, fear and worry,  This book will have you turning page after page.

Listened to via Audible. Narrated by Teri Schnaubelt.

Synopsis

For Mercy Kilpatrick, returning to rural Oregon has meant coming to terms with her roots. Raised as a prepper, Mercy is now relying on her survivalist instincts to defend her town from the people the law can’t reach. But this time, an investigation calling up a dark past for her and police chief Truman Daly may be hitting too close to home.

A rainstorm has uncovered the remains of five people—a reprise of the distinctive slaughter of two families twenty years ago. Except the convicted killer is in prison. Is this the case of a sick copycat, or is the wrong man behind bars? One person might have the answer. The lone survivor of the decades-old crimes has returned to town still claiming that she can’t remember a thing about the night she was left for dead. As the search for the truth becomes more dangerous, Mercy fears that the traumatized woman may not have buried her memories at all. She might be keeping them a secret. And there’s a price to be paid for revealing them.

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36605687-a-merciful-silence)

A Merciful Secret – Mercy Kilpatrick #3 by Kendra Elliot

REVIEW

Secrets and mystery surround Mercy Kilpatrick as she delves into the world of witches, Wicca and wonders.

After finding a distressed young girl on the side of the road near her hidden cabin, Mercy finds herself desperately trying to save the life of the girls grandmother who has been repeated slashed.  As the old woman’s life begins to slip away, Mercy hears her chanting a strange string of words that make no sense. When a second victim is found with identical markings, an old friend and fellow FBI agent, Ava McLane, works alongside Mercy and Truman to discover the full story behind the secrets in the woods.

The story was exciting and bordered on the mystical.  I loved the twist towards the end and I’ll be honest I did not see it coming, especially the connection between Salome Sabin and Christian Lake.  I have found that quite a bit with Kendra’s books, the ending is not predictable at all and it is often the last person you would expect.

It was great to have a character appearance from another series – Callahan and McLane – in this story, but this was not the only ‘guest’ appearance! I do enjoy when an author has a bit of a cross over with their other work.  I find it brings the imaginary worlds together and gives me a little insight into what some of my favourite characters are doing since their own series finished. I’m very much a person who once they find a good series wants it to go on forever, but even I know that this is not practical and everything has to come to an end, so to have them pop up every so often is lovely.

Mercy and Truman’s relationship is going from strength to strength, long may it continue, as is the relationship with Mercy and Kaylie. I also love Rose, I have great respect for her and really hope that she finds someone to settle down with, Nick Walker sounds promising.

Listened to via Audible. Narrated by Teri Schnaubelt.

Synopsis

Raised off the grid by survivalists, Mercy Kilpatrick believed in no greater safeguard than the backwoods of Oregon. Unforgiven by her father for abandoning the fold for the FBI, Mercy still holds to her past convictions. They’re in her blood. They’re her secrets—as guarded as her private survival retreat hidden away in the foothills.

In a cabin near her hideaway, Mercy encounters a young girl whose grandmother is dying from multiple knife wounds. Hundreds of miles away, a body is discovered slashed to death in a similar way. The victims—a city judge and an old woman living in the woods—couldn’t be more different. With the help of police chief Truman Daly, Mercy must find the killer before the body count rises. Mercy knows that the past has an edge on her. So does her family. How can she keep her secrets now…when they’re the only things that can save her?

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34868170-a-merciful-secret)

A Merciful Truth – Mercy Kilpatrick #2 by Kendra Elliot

REVIEW

Mercy and Truman are back in the next exciting installment of the Mercy Kilpatrick series.

Truman Daly is investigating a series of Arson attacks which bring on bad memories from his past.  When a couple of his deputies are killed during one such attack the FBI are brought in to assist.  Mercy Kilpatrick leads the investigation into the murders and working alongside her boyfriend, Truman, they uncover the works of a possible militia group formed under the guise of preppers.

Mercy’s character is great and I love how she is determined to stay independent but also desperately wants to be loved by Truman, Kaylie and the rest of her family.  Although she does not fully follow in her family’s way of life she has never been able to give up on the prepper life completely. Truman is definitely one of the good guys and is so perfect for Mercy.  He loves her completely but knows he cannot push her. He embraces her way of life and her family.  He loves how she has taken on Kaylie and watches the struggle into forced motherhood that she has taken, but will only intervene when Mercy really needs him.

This story, like the first, had a very unexpected ending.  There are lots of secrets being held in this small town of Eagle’s Nest, in particularly within the Kilpatrick household, but bit by bit they are being uncovered.  Mercy is becoming more accepted by members of her family, although one of them is still very reluctant.

Engaging and exciting.  I really enjoyed this story from start to finish.

Some violence and strong language. No intimate sexual scenes.

Listened to via Audible. Narrated by Teri Schnaubelt.

Synopsis

Raised by a family of survivalists, FBI agent Mercy Kilpatrick can take on any challenge—even the hostile reception to her homecoming. But she’s not the only one causing chaos in the rural community of Eagle’s Nest, Oregon. At first believed to be teenage pranks, a series of fires takes a deadly turn with the murder of two sheriff’s deputies. Now, along with Police Chief Truman Daly, Mercy is on the hunt for an arsonist turned killer.

Still shunned by her family and members of the community, Mercy must keep her ear close to the ground to pick up any leads. And it’s not long before she hears rumors of the area’s growing antigovernment militia movement. If the arsonist is among their ranks, Mercy is determined to smoke the culprit out. But when her investigation uncovers a shocking secret, will this hunt for a madman turn into her own trial by fire?

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32885178-a-merciful-truth)

A Merciful Death – Mercy Kilpatrick #1 by Kendra Elliot

REVIEW

Mercy Kilpatrick briefly appeared in the Callahan and McLane series by the same author.  I am please that she has now got her own series and this opening book promises to hold some exciting stories for Mercy. I have previously read all the ‘Bones Secrets’ series and ‘Callahan and McLane’ series, so I was very much looking forward to starting this one.

Estranged from her family since the age of 18, Mercy finds herself back in her home town of Eagles Nest, following a spate of murders of local preppers. Trying to keep her presence quiet it is inevitable that some people around town will recognise her and eventually she will run into her family. Working alongside the new police chief, Truman Daly, Mercy suspects a link between the recent murders and attacks that happened over 15 years ago, one of which happened very close to home.

Mercy holds her own secrets throughout this book but as her connection with Truman grows so does her trust in him, however this is a very long process.  Truman is a down-to-earth kind of guy who left the big city following a nasty incident. He has ties to the town of Eagle’s Nest and when Mercy enters his life he finds even more reason to stay.

Mercy and Truman’s relationship is a slow build, mostly on Mercy’s part, but it is (I hope) destined to stand the test of time.  They show signs of being a great complement to each other.

This is an interesting and exciting story.  The whole situation with the preppers and the reason behind what they do and why is very thought provoking in the sense of what would happen in a disaster.  It also highlights how much we all take luxuries, even the likes of electricity and running water, for granted.  The leads that Truman and Mercy follow kept me guessing as to who might be causing the attacks and the ending was a huge, and very sad, surprise. I really was not expecting that.

Contains moderate violence, some strong language. No sexual scenes.

Listened to via Audible. Narrated by Teri Schnaubelt.

Synopsis

FBI special agent Mercy Kilpatrick has been waiting her whole life for disaster to strike. A prepper since childhood, Mercy grew up living off the land—and off the grid—in rural Eagle’s Nest, Oregon. Until a shocking tragedy tore her family apart and forced her to leave home. Now a predator known as the cave man is targeting the survivalists in her hometown, murdering them in their homes, stealing huge numbers of weapons, and creating federal suspicion of a possible domestic terrorism event. But the crime scene details are eerily familiar to an unsolved mystery from Mercy’s past.

Sent by the FBI to assist local law enforcement, Mercy returns to Eagle’s Nest to face the family who shunned her while maintaining the facade of a law-abiding citizen. There, she meets police chief Truman Daly, whose uncle was the cave man’s latest victim. He sees the survivalist side of her that she desperately tries to hide, but if she lets him get close enough to learn her secret, she might not survive the fallout…

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29986740-a-merciful-death?ac=1&from_search=true)

A Shameless Little Con, Lie & Bet – Shameless #1,#2 & #3 by Meli Raine

REVIEW

Once again Meli Raine has brought us an exciting romantic suspense filled with action, love, betrayal and surprises – lots of surprises.

As with the other series from Meli Raine, I have decided to review the story as a whole because really you cannot read one without reading all three, it is essentially one story broken into three parts.  I have loved the other books by this author and this set is no different.

This series, based around Silas Gentian and Jane Borokov, follows on from the Harmless Series.   Silas is awesome, I loved his character in the Harmless series and so pleased to see him get his own story. He is mistrusting and not at all happy about having to bodyguard for the lying, deceitful Jane, but the longer he spends with her and the closer they become he realises that what he thought was true may not be so clear cut.

Jane has a lot questions surrounding her and they are answered in this series along with so much more.

Since the ‘incident’ with her best friend, Lindsay Bosworth, was so publicly aired, Jane has become the most hated person in the USA prompting multiple death threats against her.  Jane continues to claim her innocence and when the Senator Harwell Bosworth requests protection for her, Silas is the lucky one to get the job.

There is plenty of tension between these two.  Jane is desperate to prove that she did not set up her friend and as her feelings for Silas grow she wants him to believe her more than anyone.  The trust/mistrust that encompasses this story plays throughout all three books and we find out why Silas has such trust issues.  There is, however, definitely no issues in the bedroom when the sexual tension takes over.  Silas, the sly dog, has a secret that we find out about in ‘Bet’ and I was really looking forward to reading more about this side of him but it never came about.  Maybe Meli could write a novella on “Jane and Silas – Bedroom Dominance”?

Many characters from the previous series crop up – Drew and Lindsay Foster, Harry and Monica Bosworth, Mark Paulson, Marshall.  But we do have a couple of new faces as well – Lily and Duff (next series main characters).

Lots of questions arise and most of them are answered.  Secrets are revealed and surprises are in abundance.  This was a fantastic continuation to what is an ever increasing story, told from the point of view of one particular couple in each series.

As one series leads onto the next and interlinks with others, I would suggest reading them in order as characters from all four series will be found popping up in others:

  • Breaking Away
  • Coming Home
  • Harmless
  • Shameless

Looking forward to seeing what happens between Lily, the flower shop girl, and Duff, the quiet and reserved bodyguard, in The False Series.

Synopsis

A Shameless Little Con

I didn’t do it.
I never betrayed my friend.
Last year, I was kidnapped along with presidential candidate’s daughter Lindsay Bosworth, forced to help her assailants, my mother implicated in one of the biggest political scandals in American history.
I’ve been cleared of any wrongdoing, but that doesn’t matter. Once you’re tried by the media, you’re guilty as sin. The truth doesn’t get the public’s attention.
But shame? Shame sells.
And everyone assumes you’re tainted.
Now I have my own personal security team, courtesy of the United States government. Not the one you learned about in civics class, though.
I’m being tracked by the deep state. The shadow government. They’ve assigned Silas Gentian to be with me twenty-four seven. He thinks he knows everything about me – all of it bad — and he does.
On paper.
Like everyone else, he assumes I’m a traitor. A backstabber. A betrayer. Someone who helped a group of violent psychopaths, puppets of powerful men in Washington who made me into a tool.
Yet I see how he looks at me. True desire can’t be faked.
Or hidden.
And that goes both ways.
He assumes I’m trying to fool him.
And he might be right.
But not for the reasons he thinks.

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36636115-a-shameless-little-con)

A Shameless Little Lie

I did it. I admit it. I fell in love with Silas. My bodyguard. My protector. My new informant.

We’re playing a cat-and-mouse game. I’m not sure whether I’m the cat or the mouse, but I can definitely tell I’m in a trap. A trap with no way out.

I’m not who everyone thought I was. The truth is out there, finally turning the lie about me inside out. I am the shameless little lie. It’s finally been revealed, and now even more people want to kill me.

As a presidential campaign hangs in the balance, a delicate web of international relations and economic stability at risk, power becomes more important than anything else.

Even my life. Especially my life. I’m a nothing. A no one. Just a tool, remember?

But tools can be used to open locks. Cracking open the truth and exposing it could change the balance of power. Tip the scales. Make a presidential campaign turn on a dime.

Too bad Silas doesn’t believe me when I tell the truth. And that may make him the biggest tool of all.

(http://meliraine.com/book/a-shameless-little-lie/)

A Shameless Little Bet

How do I prove a negative? I need to prove Jane is innocent, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. 

Mirrors, smoke, and lies can conjure a truth that isn’t real. Money, bribes, and power can twist reality. What we call proof is all an elaborate magic act. 

So is love.  How do you prove you’re in love? How can you know with unrelenting certainty that the person you can’t live without really loves you?

It’s all about what you believe. Who you believe. And I believe Jane. I love her. But it might be too late.

Or, worse – it might all be an illusion. If proof is just a magician’s sleight of hand, then we’re caught in a sick trick.

A deadly one.  One that doesn’t end with applause.   But with a bang.

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37715250-a-shameless-little-bet)